2005 Sundance Composers Lab Fellows Announced

Posted in News on July 26, 2005
BMI and the Sundance Institute have announced the six musicians selected for the 8th Annual Sundance Institute Composers Lab, which kicked off on July 26 and runs until August 11 in Sundance, Utah. The 2005 Composers Lab Fellows are Don Byron, Barbara Cohen, Marco d'Ambrosio, Andrea Kapsalis, Ljova (a.k.a. Lev Zhurbin) and Gyan Riley.

During the two-week intensive lab, Fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of leading film composers and film music professionals. The Composers Lab participants also collaborate with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program as well as the Sundance Documentary Program to explore the process of writing music for film and to create accompanying scores for scenes shot by the Filmmaker Fellows during the Institute's Filmmakers Lab.

The Composers Lab is a major component of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, which is dedicated to supporting emerging film composers and enhancing the role of music in independent film. First offered from 1986-1989, the Composers Lab was re-introduced in the summer of 1998 with the support of BMI to provide a collaborative and supportive environment where composers can experiment and expand their musical language. The Sundance Composers Lab provides valuable first-hand experience in composing for film and enhances the musical understanding of independent filmmakers participating in the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.

"BMI has been a part of the Lab from its inception, and it's become a vital educational experience for many of our composers," said Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President, Film/TV Relations at BMI, who serves as a Creative Advisor for the Lab. "It's been a great vehicle for unique composers with experience in other areas to learn the craft of dramatic underscore as well as engage in direct interaction with filmmakers."

"Music is a crucial and often overlooked part of the filmmaking process," explains Peter Golub, Director of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program. "This Lab provides a unique opportunity for emerging composers and directors to work together in an atmosphere that encourages experimentation. Interest in this program continues to grow and this year's Fellows represent an extraordinary level of accomplishment and range of musical experience. We're very excited about the work we'll be doing with them and the impact we will have on the Fellows from the Filmmakers Lab and the Documentary Program.""

In addition to their work with the Filmmakers Lab, Composers Lab Fellows will work under the mentorship of a distinguished group of composers, filmmakers, and film industry professionals who serve as Creative Advisors, including BMI's Ringer Ross; world renowned musicians Maya Beiser (cellist) and Steven Schick (percussionist); director John Waters (A Dirty Shame, Hairspray, Pink Flamingos); film composers Jeff Beal (Pollack, In the Realms of the Unreal, Carnivale), George S. Clinton (Austin Powers trilogy, Joe Somebody, A Dirty Shame), James Newton Howard (The Village, Hidalgo, Snow Falling on Cedars) and Christopher Young (The Hurricane, The Grudge, Wonder Boys); classical composer Osvaldo Golijov (The Man Who Cried, "La Pasi�n Seg�n San Marcos" ["St. Mark's Passion"]); Paul Broucek, President, Music, New Line Cinema; sound editor Jon Johnson; music supervisors Evyen Klean (Angels in America, S.W.A.T., Real Women Have Curves) and Tracy McKnight (Everyday People, My Architect: A Son's Journey, The United States of Leland); film music agent Robert Messinger (First Artists); filmmaker Robb Moss (The Same River Twice); and music editor Adam Smalley.

The Sundance Institute Composers Lab continues to receive major support from founding sponsor BMI; additional in-kind support is generously provided by Alesis, LaCie, Mark of the Unicorn, Mackie and Yamaha.

2005 Sundance Institute Conductors Lab Fellows:

Don Byron
Bronx-born clarinetist Don Byron is a singular voice in a dizzying range of musical contexts, redefining every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge improvisation. He has composed and arranged music for jazz and chamber ensembles, for films and dance, and has recorded ten albums as a leader for Blue Note and Nonesuch Records.

Barbara Cohen
Barbara Cohen is a gifted vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, flute, piccolo etc). Her intricate body of work embraces a variety of musical genres from folk, roots rock, trip-hop, electronica and world music. This former Virgin Records recording artist has been the recipient of many awards including the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant for artistry and composition.

Marco d'Ambrosio
Marco's scores have been on projects released by 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Classics, Lucasfilm, PDI/DreamWorks, Pixar, APPP and Columbia TriStar. He has composed music for the independent features including Haiku Tunnel (Sundance 2001), the anime Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and Testosterone (Toronto 2003), in theatres on THX, Dolby and Century Theatres trailers and on PBS documentaries including the award winning Blink, They Drew Fire and Double Dare.

Andrea Kapsalis
Andreas Kapsalis' song "Cubist" was recently featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered." He also received high praise from jazz legend Dave Brubeck for an arrangement of the classic song "Blue Rondo a la Turk," recorded in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer Jim Tullio. Andreas utilities a rare eight finger guitar technique to demonstrate his ability to play melody, rhythm, and bass simultaneously while exploring the traditions of classical and Mediterranean styles in his compositions.

Ljova (a.k.a. Lev Zhurbin)
Ljova is a composer, arranger and violist. Most recently, Ljova has been collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project and the Kronos Quartet, among others.

Gyan Riley
Gyan Riley, a 27-year-old California native, has emerged as a prominent figure in the guitar world and the contemporary music scene both as a performer and composer. Concert tours with the Europe-based World Guitar Ensemble, the Los Angeles-based Falla Guitar Trio, and father/composer/pianist Terry Riley, have taken him throughout Europe and the United States to perform originals and works from the repertoire.